Visitors to Royston museum discover what town did during First World War

Sophia and Jessica Sapsford.

Sophia and Jessica Sapsford. - Credit: Archant

Visitors to Royston Museum on Saturday were given the chance to find out what was going on in the town during the First World War.

The exhibition is part of a project to create a database of those involved in the war effort in Royston.

The museum was used during the war as a soldier’s welcome post run by the Volunteer Aid Detachment, while the schools on Queens Road were turned into a military hospital run by volunteers.

Families discovering the exhibition had a go at knitting a row for a scarf, to echo the efforts of women and children who knitted clothing to send to the troops.

Not only did the people of Royston knit items for the troops, they also organised fundraising events to raise the money to buy the materials needed to knit clothes.

Stories of local soldiers were revealed, including that of Private William Reed who experienced the famous 1914 Christmas truce.

He wrote an account saying: “They sang us a carol and we sang one. After that we all joined up and sang Tipperary, and gave three cheers for king and country.”

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Of his experience as a prisoner of war Lance Corporal Alex Everett wrote: “The wounded were given no attention and we had nothing to eat until Saturday, only what the French civilians gave us.”

Museum assistant Amy Judd said: “It was a brilliant day and the team talked almost non-stop to visitors about the war and the part the Roystonians played.

“A great part of the day was bringing the scouts into the research. It was a revelation to see just how many young men who went to war had been in the scouts.

“Bringing the whole community into the project has really opened up more stories.

“During the war people made small flags to show their support for soldiers and charities.

“The visiting kids got a chance to create their own flags and waved them with pride!”